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Last night [October 22, 2020], a no-action letter was issued relating to apparent non-compliance by certain broker-dealers with Rule 15c3-3, which is aptly named the “Customer Protection Rule.” In short, certain broker-dealers’ failure to comply with the Customer Protection Rule puts retail customer funds and securities at risk, and the no-action letter purports to allow […]
Capital Market Policies for the 21st Century The U.S. capital markets have failed to create an inclusive and equitable economy or durable prosperity because they are built atop policies formulated over the last 150 years. These policies fail to account for (1) the injustice that naturally accrues in an unregulated free market (e.g., the lottery […]
For nearly half a century, the bundling of research services into commissions that paid for the execution of securities trades has been the focus of both policy discussion and academic debate. The practice whereby asset management firms make use of investor funds to cover the costs of research, known as “soft dollar” payments in the […]
Management teams do not have to confront the pandemic’s daunting challenges alone. As they move from stabilizing cash flow and reengineering workplaces to creating a little breathing room—both financially and mentally—CEOs and directors should reflect on how to deploy their boards most effectively. Regardless of where company performance lies on the spectrum—from distressed (physical retailers) […]
The core of capitalism—the freedom to engage in entrepreneurial activities, to trade goods and services, and make profits for shareholders—in and of itself, is socially responsible. It is so because enterprises and the profits they generate bring many benefits to society including jobs and training, revenues for suppliers, R&D investment for innovation, among others. All […]
Recent years have witnessed a surge in the number of M&A deals that use representations and warranties insurance (“RWI”). According to a recent study, in 2018 to 2019, 52% of private company transaction agreements referred to RWI, up from only 29% in 2016 to 2017. Yet, despite its dramatic growth in the private company deal […]
Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world’s largest and most influential companies made promises to their stakeholders. In 2019, 181 CEOs in the Business Roundtable—a group that includes major companies such as Amazon, Apple, and Bank of America—redefined the purpose of a corporation to one that delivers value to all stakeholders, not just […]
Returning capital to shareholders is an important and legitimate goal of many corporations. Buybacks are often an effective way to distribute capital, but care must be taken to mitigate downfalls related to personal gain and enrichment, poor timing, and excess leverage. Buybacks have experienced a meteoric rise in popularity since the turn of the twenty-first […]
The Persistence of Fee Dispersion among Mutual Funds Posted by Michael J. Cooper (University of Utah), Michael Halling (Stockholm School of Economics), and Wenhao Yang (Chinese University of Hong Kong), on Friday, October 16, 2020 Tags: Asset management, Capital allocation, Institutional Investors, Mutual funds Investing Responsibly: Company Interaction Posted by Carine Smith Ihenacho, Jonas Jølle, and Dyveke Rogan, Norges Bank [...]
The COVID-19 global pandemic and subsequent state responses had immediate and direct impacts on annual shareholders meetings across companies large and small. In the midst of the 2020 annual meeting season, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic and a national state of emergency was declared in the United States resulting in forty-three states issuing mandatory stay-at-home […]
This checklist will help boards enable their companies to anticipate, manage, and survive the next crisis, even as the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to cause unprecedented disruption and uncertainty. Takeaways Learning from the Covid-19 pandemic and the overall heightened turbulence of 2020, boards can take crisis management to the next level and oversee “foresight” or […]
The Ceres Roadmap 2030 is a 10-year action plan that challenges companies to become sustainable business leaders, advancing the transition to a more equitable, just and sustainable economy. It provides clarity and direction in the development of credible, effective and appropriately ambitious sustainable business strategies and priorities. To achieve this vision, the Ceres Roadmap 2030 […]
Key Takeaways A considerable proportion of respondents to the survey (62.5%) report that the Social domain of the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) spectrum is attracting more of their attention since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Governance remains the most important ESG factor in the investment analysis and stewardship activities of 86% of respondents. […]
Proxy advisors recommend to institutional investors how they should vote on the nomination of board members and other corporate governance issues, including executive compensation. The advisor with the largest US market share is Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS). ISS and other advisors do not own equity in the companies about which they provide voting advice, nor […]
Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) has released its proposed 2021 voting policy updates and, for the first time, proposes expressly recognizing the benefits of Delaware choice of forum provisions for Delaware corporations and generally recommending in favor of management-sponsored proposals seeking shareholder approval of such charter or bylaw provisions.
Private equity (PE) managers have significant incentives to maximize value. As such, their actions during the COVID-19 pandemic should indicate what they perceive as being important for both the preservation and creation of value. In July–August 2020, we surveyed PE managers about their portfolio performance, decision-making, and activities during the global coronavirus outbreak. More than […]

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